December 7, 2009

Re-prioritising

After spending so much time these last 3 years learning about child development and familiarising myself with the various education methods and ways to bring up a child. I often wonder what route I will take if dh and I chose to home-school K.

I still don't have the courage and the discipline to do this and will chose the conventional route of entering my child into Singapore's school system. However I will have to admit that I have a dislike for Singapore’s educational system. I was a late developer, struggled through my academic years in upper primary school and secondary school. And only managed to blossom when I was sent to Australia for my university years.

What if K is like me? I really hope not, I rather he takes after his dad in the academic 'department' (dh was in the ‘gifted’ programme from primary 4). This will surely make it a little easier for me in his schooling years.

Recently, when dh and nana were watching golf channel in her place, they talked about the possibility of grooming K into a sportsman. K has shown potential for golf and tennis from a very young age. He picked up tennis before he could walk, would be hitting the balls while sitting in his tricycle. And could effortlessly swing his toy golf clubs and hit plastic golf balls when he was about 1 and a half years old.

However, the grim possibility is this. Even if K is gifted in golf or tennis, it is hard for him to gain international standing if we were to stay within Singapore. If our family cannot afford to invest hundreds of thousands to send him to a foreign university in US or UK, sponsor him for international tours to obtain a standing in PGA or Pro tennis circuit, there isn’t a chance.

Instead of banking on hopes of being able to groom a sportsman, it is my job to expose him to as much learning as possible while growing up. Golf and tennis can be for leisure, if he really shows a gift for it, we can pursue it as see how far it brings him. The focus cannot be just in academics, it is not enough for one to just have book smarts. But also in areas of moral, emotional intelligence, social development, nature, sciences and the arts.

Sounds like a list of things to do and a huge challenge for me, but when I learnt more about the Charlotte Mason educational method, it is not as hard as I imagined it to be. I have read about this about a year ago, but recently my interest in it has been renewed after reviewing my home-school experiences with K thus far. I will be looking at ways to incorporate the principles of this method with our home curriculum, and continue using this to supplement his learning even when he enters preschool. This method will have more longevity as he develops and will allow me to learn alongside with him.

It is of my utmost conviction that that I bring up a child who will become a socially responsible and accountable adult, has self-control, learns to relate and adapts well to the environment around him. And most importantly, put God first in his life.

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